HR Tech 2015: Now Everybody Wants to be the “Uber of Recruitment”

Apparently, the new marketing message for Talent Acquisition technology that I’m seeing here at the HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas is to call yourself the “Uber of Recruitment”

I have had six different companies actually use this phrase to explain what their product is, and how it works.

Marketers love to play up being a “disruptor,” like Uber did to the taxi industry. I love using Uber, and I think most people that use it really like it as well. So, making the jump in marketing to use that positive image and tying it back to your product makes perfect sense.

It’s lazy, but I get it.

Another way of trying to cash in

Here’s the bigger story: Companies are trying to cash in on the multi-billion dollar recruitment industry.

OK, it’s not a big story, and it’s been happening for decades, but we are getting to a point where you can see technology making a serious play at truly changing the way companies interact with traditional recruitment agencies.

This is my game, so I’m definitely interested in checking out all these new Uber of Recruiting plays.

Here’s how most of these technologies work:

  • Step 1: Use our technology to connect with candidates.
  • Step 2: We charge you about 75 percent less than traditional recruitment agencies.
  • Step 3: We cut out the middle man.
  • Step 4: You get same talent, faster, cheaper, happier.

Uber seems simple, but recruiting is hard

The basic premise is Uber simple — put the power of recruitment into the hands of the candidate. Let them easily connect with those companies that seek their expertise.

Here’s why this is hard: All of these Uber of Recruitment plays don’t really have an answer on how do we get people and/or companies to use their product. The need to use Recruitment Agencies are based on a few main premises:

  1. The most desirable candidates are not looking, and must be found.
  2. You don’t have capacity or skill in-house to find this talent.
  3. Agencies can find better talent than other options (remember this is the premise of use!).

The Uber of Recruitment plays don’t necessarily address all of these premises. I do believe that this technology is going to have an impact to a part of recruitment industry market segment that has issue with cost.

The technology makes it easier for organizations to almost run their own type of agency in-house using this technology, and it makes it easy for candidates to connect. But, the huge miss is that these technologies still don’t go out and sell a talented person, who is not looking for a job at your company or any company, on why they need to consider this job.

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These won’t really change the industry

That’s called recruitment, or sales — which is recruitment.

Uber of Recruitment technology doesn’t recruit, which is why these plays won’t end the industry as we know it.

Uber as an example doesn’t really fit as a recruitment industry killer, but it might work in terms of disrupting and pushing bad agencies to get better.

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.